1. Introduction to the Policy Statement

The A. C. Clark Library Collection Development Policy was developed by the Collection Development Librarian, in collaboration with the library faculty.

2. Purpose of the Policy Statement and Audience

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to provide guidance to Bemidji State University (BSU) librarians, staff, faculty and administration for the development and management of collections which best support the University’s curriculum. The Collection Development Policy is a public document, available to all clientele of the Library, which defines the Library’s collections and the policies regarding selection, acquisition, choice of format and weeding or deselection of information resources. The actual procedures for the acquisition, processing, circulation and maintenance of these resources are not included in this policy statement.

3. General Description of the Institution and Clientele Served

BSU serves over 5100 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers majors in more than sixty baccalaureate fields of study as well as eleven Master of Arts, Master of Science and masters’ degrees within the professions. In addition, BSU offers associate degrees and certificate programs. Some of its degree programs and research activities are unique in the state.

(Source: Bemidji State Facts & Figures)

BSU Carnegie Classification

  • Prof+A&S/SGC: Professions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence.
    60–79 percent of bachelor’s degree majors were in professional fields and graduate degrees were observed in some of the fields corresponding to undergraduate majors (but less than half).
  • Postbac-A&S/Ed: Postbaccalaureate with Arts & Sciences (education dominant).
    These institutions award master’s degrees in some arts and sciences fields as well as degrees in professional fields and the plurality of graduate degrees are in education.


Programs at Bemidji State University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) as well as the following accrediting bodies: American Chemical Society, Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, Minnesota Department of Education and National Association of Schools of Music and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation.

(Source: Accreditation and Program Approval)

4. Mission Statement and Goals of the Collection Management and Development Program

Library Mission

  • We are stewards of the Library’s collections, curating and providing access to a wide range of resources.
  • We are teachers of critical thinking: how to find and how to use information.
  • We are an environment for teaching, learning and collaboration, for students, faculty and the larger community.
  • Through our collections and services, we support the University’s Mission, Vision and Shared Fundamental Values.

The Library’s Mission Informs the Following Goals

  1. Curate and provide access to a wide range of resources.
  2. Teach patrons how to find and how to use information.
  3. Provide an environment for teaching, learning and collaboration.
  4. Support the University and its Mission, Vision and Shared Fundamental Values.

5. The Library’s Official Stance on Intellectual Freedom, Censorship and Copyright Issues

The Library affirms the American Library Association’s policies in the Library Bill of Rights, Code of Ethics and Libraries: An American Value, and asserts the following statements in accordance with these.

Intellectual Freedom

The A. C. Clark Library upholds the principles of intellectual freedom, and affirms the guidelines as stated in Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights:

The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.


The Library affirms the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read Statement” and adheres to the Library Bill of Rights, tenet #3: “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” To this end, the Library also adheres to tenet #11, stated in the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, which states that “A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits or services.” All official challenges to A.C. Clark Library materials, or to the negligence of the Library to collect in a particular subject, shall be submitted via the Request to Challenge an Item form. All official challenges are addressed by the librarians, the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and the BSU Administration, until resolution is achieved.


The A.C. Clark Library complies with the U. S. Copyright Act, (17 U.S.C.).

6. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The A.C. Clark Library fully supports BSU’s Mission and Vision for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and selects resources for the library that uphold these values:

Mission: To foster a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus and community culture that respects difference and ensures equitable opportunities for every person.

Vision: At BSU, we celebrate and embrace diversity, and steadfastly seek to ensure equitable and inclusive environments for every person who learns, teaches, works and visits our campus. People are valued for their differences, and we strive to reflect that variation. We combat injustices, demonstrate kindness and encourage every individual to seek and be true to their own identities. We clearly demonstrate our commitment to the Ojibwe and to other Indigenous peoples in this country.

We also strive to incorporate the values and guidelines for diverse collections provided by the ALA Interpretation of the Bill of Rights and ACRL Standards for Diversity:

Diverse Collections: Collection development should reflect the philosophy inherent in Article I of the Library Bill of Rights: “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation.” A diverse collection should contain content by and about a wide array of people and cultures to authentically reflect a variety of ideas, information, stories and experiences. ALA, Amended 2019

ACRL Diversity Standard 4: Development of collections, programs and services: Librarians and library staff shall develop collections and provide programs and services that are inclusive of the needs of all persons in the community the library serves.

While these guidelines provide a good foundation, we are committed to striving further. The library faculty are currently working on projects to assess the content of the collections and actively seek resources and formats to reflect diverse and underrepresented voices, and more importantly, unheard voices. Our work on this will be ongoing, as we continue to learn and apply this knowledge to developing our collections. We are learning from other institutions who have been pioneering these efforts and will be investigating their strategies as well as planning our own.

7. Collections in the A. C. Clark Library

Collection levels

To describe the breadth and depth of subject collections, the Library endeavors to develop the library collection as it pertains to Level 3 of the Collection Development Office of the Library of Congress.

It should be noted that these collecting levels are aspirational in nature. That is, they are goals for guiding our collecting policies. Changing resources in, for example, budgets or human capital, may require adjustments in collection building, especially at the comprehensive level.

Instructional Support Level: A collection that in a university is adequate to support undergraduate and most graduate instruction or sustained independent study; that is, adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes, of less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals and reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject. In American law collections, this includes comprehensive trade publications and loose-leaf materials, and for foreign law, periodicals and monographs.

Collections: The collections found below are groups of physical collections and should be seen as conceptual. These collections may be searched online through the Library’s catalog. The Library may at any point move an item from one collection to another for the purposes of preservation, security or accessibility. This is to provide an explanation of what formats exist in our collections and what formats we currently select or purchase.

Collection Purpose of Collection Formats Collected
General book To provide current and retrospective monographic literature of all subject areas primarily in support of the University’s curriculum. Primarily books, both in print and electronic, mixed book and electronic files, Bemidji State University Masters’ Theses and secondarily microforms when cost, availability and shelf space become predominant factors. The Library does not actively collect college textbooks.
Children’s & Young Adult To provide examples of children’s materials for potential use in the pre-school through 12th grade classroom. Printed books. Duplicates will be purchased for Caldecott and Newbery award winning titles. The Library does not collect kits, curricula, tests, activity guides or textbooks for this collection.
Government Publications To provide to the public and to Bemidji State University’s students, staff and faculty selected resources distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program or issued by an agency of the State of Minnesota. Primarily internet-based resources, microform, paper and computer accessible files.
Media To provide published media that directly supports the curriculum at Bemidji State University. CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs and internet-based resources. A variety of older audiovisual media and computer-accessible files are housed in this collection as well.
Periodicals To provide access to a portion of the periodically published English language serials. For new resources selected for this collection, electronic is the preferred format. Paper issues that may or may not be bound, microforms as a replacement for some bound paper issues and electronic serials.
Popular Reading To provide supplemental reading material in support the Library and University missions. Printed books.
Reference To support the A.C. Clark Library faculty in providing reference services to the University community. Printed books, paper issues that may or may not be bound and internet-based reference resources.
Special To provide a protected environment for local, valuable and/or rare materials found in the A.C. Clark Library and BSU faculty publications. Primarily published printed monographs, Bemidji State University Master’s Theses, antiquarian materials and could include other formats as deemed appropriate.

Selection criteria for new purchases: All resources, whether accepted as donations or purchased by the A.C. Clark Library become the property of the state, will be housed in the Library or hosted on the Library’s website, and will be made available for use by the entire campus community. Criteria for purchase is as follows:

Selection element Criteria
Content The librarians solicit the expertise of faculty members from the university’s academic areas for recommended resources to order. When said expertise or input is unavailable, the librarians select resources based on book reviews, selection resources and/or their own expertise.
Cost The librarians select resources which have one-time or ongoing costs.
  1. One-time costs: Books, DVDs and other media are typically purchased for a one-time cost using the appropriate funds, as determined by the librarians.
  2. Ongoing costs: Journal and database/electronic resource subscriptions are considered ongoing costs, paid on a continual basis until cancelled by the Library or discontinued by the publisher/provider. Due to the financial commitment involved, the acquisition of journals and electronic resources must be approved by the librarians. The Library will consider the following before committing to the purchase of subscriptions:
    1. Resource is in support of one or more baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting programs;
    2. Primary clientele;
    3. Cost/adequate funds;
    4. Future budge allocations/ability to continue payments;
    5. Overlap with existing library resources;
    6. Subject coverage/scope;
    7. Requestor;
    8. Accreditation requirements;
    9. Other needs as negotiated.
  1. Electronic vs. print: Print is the preferred format for books, but e-books may be purchased on a case-by-case basis; for periodicals, the preferred format is electronic. The librarians consider current print or electronic holdings that match or supplement the request, as well as price, accessibility and licensing restrictions or requirements.
  2. Cloth vs. paperback: The Library typically chooses hardcover or cloth books if it is anticipated that the item will have high use. Paperback or soft cover may be considered for resources of a more esoteric nature or for resources that may quickly become outdated and removed from the collection, or if cost for hardcover is unreasonably exorbitant. The Library may have the paperback copy bound for preservation purposes.
  3. Audiovisual formats: Where audiovisual formats are available as DVD or VHS, the Library will choose DVD format. Streaming audiovisual may also be purchased, taking into account accessibility, licensing restrictions, duration of access and ongoing costs.
  1. Duplication: The Library does not typically order an item in duplicate but may consider doing so if a second copy is deemed beneficial to library users.
  2. Replacements: The Library may order a replacement copy of an item that has been declared lost or missing. If the item is no longer in print, the Library may purchase a used copy, if in acceptable condition.

8. Donations, Gifts and Special Funds

2023-24 Academic Year update: please note that we are not accepting material donations during this time, due to a staffing shortage. 

The Library welcomes both material and monetary gifts or donations for the purpose of developing and improving the library collection. Material donations will become the exclusive property of the Library and state of Minnesota. Acceptance of material donations does not guarantee inclusion into the Library’s collections. Donations will be acknowledged with an official letter if an address is provided. The Library will not provide a value to any material donation.

All inquiries may be directed to the Collection Development Librarian. A substantive material donation may need approval by the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Library reserves the right to initiate a moratorium on material donations at any time.

The Library Will Accept

  • Books pertinent to the Library’s mission in good condition
  • DVDs in good working condition
  • Textbooks if published within the last 3 years
  • For monetary donations, please contact the BSU Foundation

The Library Will not Accept

  • Any material that contains mold, mildew, brittle pages, broken spines, missing pages, odor or other physical characteristics which impede their use
  • Maps, brochures, papers, pamphlets or ephemera unless specific to the region or Bemidji State University—please contact the Special Collection/University Archives Librarian
  • Cassettes, VHS, filmstrips, 16 mm or other audiovisual material for which the Library has no means to access the content

Please contact the Collection Development Librarian for inquiries regarding the donation of the following formats:


Any special conditions requested by donors will be considered by the librarians. If necessary, a recommendation will be provided to the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for a final decision.

Please provide a completed donations form along with your donation. A printable donations form is available for your convenience.

9. De-Selection

The Library’s physical collections undergo periodic deselection or weeding in order to increase access to those materials most likely to be used in the future and to provide space for newer acquisitions. This is to be undertaken by the librarians in consultation with other appropriate University faculty and with the aid of standard subject lists and bibliographies. The Library may utilize the Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC) storage facility for possible placement of items removed from the collection when appropriate.

For final removal of any library material, a consensus must be made among the librarians, in consultation, if necessary, with other University faculty or the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, taking into full consideration the collection and subject areas to which an item belongs, circulation statistics and use statistics for online resources.

Physical items removed from the A.C. Clark Library collections will be done so under Minnesota State College and Universities System Procedures 7.3.13 Surplus Personal Property / Building Disposal.

10. Collection Commitments / Cooperative Collection Development Agreements

The Library has no formal cooperative collection development agreements in place at this time. As a result of a commitment to materials on environmental studies and Indian studies in a previous MNSCU Cooperative Collection Development agreement (which is now defunct), the Library continues to actively seek to add materials to our collection in these areas. The Library is open to future cooperative collection development agreements which will enhance our collection, contribute to course offerings and culture of BSU and contribute to collection development within the region.